Liftoff! Civilians make history
SpaceX made history yesterday as it successfully launched Inspiration4, dubbed the world’s first all-civilian mission by the private spaceflight company. The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 00:02 UTC (8:02 p.m. EDT) on September 15, 2021. At its head was a Crew Dragon spacecraft, where four civilians sat strapped inside and prepared for the ride of their lives. Inspiration4 is an entrance into what SpaceX hopes will be a new era of space: one where everyday people, like the crew of Inspiration4, can visit space.
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The Dragon used in this mission – named Resilience by the Crew-1 astronauts – will carry the Inspiration4 crew on a trajectory high around Earth. They will travel to an altitude of 357 miles (575 km), even higher than both the International Space Station (ISS) and the Hubble Space Telescope.
They’ll spend about three days in their spacecraft as they orbit the planet, and are currently estimated to splash down sometime by Sunday (September 19) at the latest. However, Jared Isaacman, who ...